"Oh, I LOVE Airbnbs. I have been dreaming of starting my own one day!"
This is the typical response we hear ALL the time when we tell people we are Airbnb Hosts. We then get into our story, how we started, and if Airbnb hosting may be right for the friend. Here are the primary things we tell people to consider before jumping into the Airbnb Hosting world.
#1 GUT CHECK | The first step is checking your gut to see if this is something you really want to take on. Don't talk yourself out of it, but launching an Airbnb is a BIG commitment. It takes a lot of time, money, and energy. So really check in with yourself if this is something you want in your life.
#2 RESEARCH WHAT AN AIRBNB IS | One of the best things you can do to see what really goes into hosting is by staying at a short term rental yourself. Honestly, this is what piqued our interest years before we became hosts. (We stayed at a really cool cabin in Flagstaff and loved that we were able to accommodate two families.) While you are staying at the rental, put yourself in the guest's shoes. Take notes on what you loved about your stay and how you would do things differently in your own space. You don't even have to go far. Give yourself a little staycation and picture yourself as a tourist in your own city. We highly recommend staying in at least one or two rentals yourself before decide if hosting is right for you.
#3 FINANCES | The financial side is an incredibly personal choice. Still, if 2020 has taught us anything, it is to make sure we do not overextend ourselves. You will need the down payment on the property, holding costs while fixing it up, budget for furnishings, and at least 3-6 months of savings. When the pandemic hit, some who could not cover even a month of expenses were forced to sell or lose their property. A short term rental is an investment, and investments are not always 100% guaranteed. However, when done well, it can be an incredible long term asset.
#4 TIME | Being a host can become time-consuming. There will be weeks/months that require little to no time at all. But when a guest accidentally locks themselves out or there is an emergency, you will need to have a plan. It is also highly advisable to respond to guest inquiries as soon as possible. Typically people looking to book may ask a question to a few properties, and the one who answers the quickest may be the one who gets booked. If you don't feel you have a lot of time, you can always hire a Co-Host or management company.
Looking For More Hosting Inspiration?
1) Sign up for The Brass Cactus email list below! We share insights into our journey, hosting tips, and a freebie every now and then.
2) Follow along with us over on Instagram @thebrasscactusaz
3) Download our free PDF Guestbook Check List here. It's got some fantastic tips about the essential items to include in your Welcome Guest Book.